This time last year I took a huge leap, a risk is perhaps a better word. I quit a reasonably well paid job with plenty of potential to earn more. Back then people doubted me and thought I was making a huge mistake. Now let me tell you how I proved them wrong.
12 months on, on average for the months I have worked self-employed, I have made more than what I would have worked in the job that I left. Some would argue that isn’t a major success. Let me tell you why I disagree. Freedom.
For the past 12 months I have been able to work from home, I don’t have to get up early to drive in rush hour traffic to get to an office from 8:30 – 9:00 am Monday to Friday. I also learnt something about myself. I am not a morning person, I work best from 11 am onwards. I also work well in the evenings. So don’t get me wrong, being self-employed, I work way more than the 8 hour days I used to, but I work on my terms. If I want a day off, I can have it, I can catch up over the weekend. I can work when suits me best. This is a fantastic luxury.
The second point is I have still managed to maintain a ‘Life’ Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go out an insane amount, like a lot of my employed friends do, but there is a good reason for this which I will come to later. But I still get to enjoy myself. Back in January I spent just under a week in Sweden and Finland which was incredible, and then this summer I spent just under 3 weeks in the USA and Canada. The most notable point is I don’t get ‘holiday allowance’ now I work for myself so when I;’m not working I don’t get paid. Looking at this year, though I haven’t been chained to my desk ‘no life-ing’ it as the saying goes.
For me this is the exciting part. Leaving employment last year and the year that has followed has done one thing to me in particular. Made me fearless (In the work sense at least). I took a risk last year and it paid off, and I now know that when the chips are down and I have no other choice, I can make a living on my own.
So as most of you reading this will know for the past few months and for the foreseeable future I am dedicating my time to working on a new exciting project called UnderstandingE with Matt Ogborne. If you haven’t seen it already I implore you to check it out at understandinge.com/now It will be really useful for E-commerce business owners and dare I say you can’t afford to ignore it.
Whilst building UnderstandingE which is no mean feat in itself, I am taking a hit on earning as most of my time (i.e more than 10 hour days and 6 day weeks) is going into building something that could have a massive impact in 2014. Why would I do this? Simple. Because number 1. I can and Number 2. the benefits of being involved with something like this is not only a challenge, but something that could be incredibly rewarding, to know we have helped so many businesses.
Anyone Can Do This
I am nothing special, I have no amazing skill set which sets me apart from anyone else. What I have done though is, I found something I am passionate about and have a lot of motivation to make something work. It’s amazing how motivated you become when you don’t have a choice, and you need to make something work.
I remember hearing someone say that even if you fail you still win. Let me explain. Can you imagine having a business idea, or an opportunity to do something different in front of you, and you turn it down. Then when your 80+ years old, you look back and think “God, I wish I’d have done that” Can you imagine that feeling?
Now lets flip the situation. You take a risk, you try setting up a business in something your passionate about, novelty baseball caps, for example. The bad news is not many others share your passion for novelty baseball caps and the business fails. But when your 80+ looking back you can smile and say “yea I tried it, it didn’t work, but at least I know I tried.” You still win for that very reason. No regrets.
So one last question for you… What’s stopping you doing what you’re passionate about?